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Dub-town Funk You Up

Dub-town Funk You Up

With a stuffed backpack and bus ticket in hand, (and by in hand, I mean on my phone because it still takes me way to long to figure out the printer on campus) I headed off to Dublin on Thursday afternoon. While I was extremely excited to visit Dublin, I didn’t have much on my list to see, I had tickets to see the Book of Kells and go to the Guinness factory, but apart from that, I was just ready to explore. Luckily, I had the best tour guide sitting right next to me on the bus ride down. My friend Marypaz, had actually interned in Dublin for about 2 months a year and a half ago. While she didn’t have the city completely memorized, she did know what places to hit up, Irish friends to meet up with, and was ready to share it all with me.

Thursday night we arrived in our hostel where we quickly realized how spoiled we were in Amsterdam. In our Dublin hostel, we had no table or chairs, the wifi wasn’t that awesome, but the most awkward thing of all was that there were 3 strangers in our room with us. However, we chatted with them for a bit when we arrived, it was a French couple and a guy from Brazil who is currently living in Amsterdam, so we learned that they were cool, aka we could leave our backpacks in the room and not lock them up. That night we met up with two of Marypaz’s Irish friends, Shane and Conor, who brought us to a more local Irish night club where we were able to dance the night away (literally the night away since Savannah and I left ‘early’ at 3:30). We also were able to snag a Captain Morgan t-shirt that a worker was handing out and make the walk back with no trouble whatsoever.

We woke up early on Friday, and while the rest of our group went to the Guinness Factory, Marypaz and I went all around Dublin. We went shopping on Grafton Street, visited Trinity College, Saint Stevens Green, the Dáil Éireann (the house of Parliament), the National Museum of Ireland, Dublin castle, and Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. During our activities we were also able to squeeze in a lunch in a cute cafe and drink a cuppa in Dublin Castle. My favorite stop of the whole day was probably the National Museum where we were able to look at bog bodies. Bog bodies were bodies of people who have been thrown into the bogs in Ireland usually as a sacrifice of some sort. The bodies we saw were from 200-400 BC and yet, you could still make out the fingernails on their hands because the bogs are able to preserve the bodies so well. We even saw their hair. It was super cool and I took pictures at the beginning, but in the end, I felt a bit queazy and had to stop. Marypaz and I also wanted to tour the Dáil but we missed the tour times, so we could only stand outside and stare at it. However, everything else we did was very fun and exciting and after we met up with the rest out our friends, we geared up to go out to Temple Bar. Note: Temple Bar is not just one bar, it is a street of many different clubs and pubs, and it is also very touristy, it’s not exactly a place that the locals hit up on the weekend. We did have fun though and made it back to the hostel in one piece so we could be up and ready for another busy day.

Bog Body fingernails
Drinking a cuppa a Dublin Castle

Saturday was equally as busy. I woke up and went to Trinity College to see the Book of Kells and the old library. All I can say about that exhibit is WOW. It sounds cheesy, but it was so beautiful and impressive I was seriously blown away both by the artwork of the book and the history behind it all. One of the most interesting things for me was that the Book of Kells was made around 800 AD and in 1661 the book was given to Trinity college by the Bishop of Ussher. To me, it was amazing to think about how in 1661 the importance of this book was recognized and at such an early time, and the steps were made to ensure that it was preserved all the way until now. But not only was the Book of Kells magnificent, but the old library in Trinity college was mind-blowing. Fun fact: the library in Harry Potter was actually modeled off of the old library in Trinity, so that should give you an idea of how beautiful it was. I think that if this was the library I could actually study in, I may complete my homework in a timely manner.

Old Library


The Old Library


Book of Kells

After the Book of Kells, I was able to take a different tour of Dublin. Savannah, Marypaz, and I actually took a bus to the outskirts of Dublin to a place called Howth. Marypaz had previously said that her favorite place in all of Dublin was Howth so I knew that was definitely going to be something to check out. When we arrived, we met up with Shane, who was going to be our tour guide for the rest of the day (tour guide being taken very lightly). We looked out into the coast at Howth and walked around for a bit before the rain caught up with us. Luckily for us, Shane had managed to borrow his dad’s car for the day so we were able to be chauffeured around to see all these little suburbs outside of Dublin. We were able to see a castle in Malahide, try Nandos (a super good chicken place that isn’t in Cork), drink a couple of pints, and relax with great company.



Malahide Castle

My final day in Dublin was exciting because at 9am I was able to see my roommate and Chicago buddy, Alyssa. Alyssa flew in and arrived early on Sunday so as soon as she dropped her stuff off at the hostel I was staying at, I had to fill her up with an Irish breakfast, and then go to the Guinness factory. Pretty much ensuring she would be aware that she was in Ireland within the first few hours (plus it rained half of the way there, in case she wasn’t sure).  After the Guinness factory, we stopped in a little pub for lunch where we were able to watch the start of the Ireland vs. England rugby game (Ireland won btw) before we had to head off to the bus station.

Enjoying a pint at Gravity Bar in the Guinness Factory

Overall, my weekend in Dublin was fanatic. One interesting aspect about Dublin though was when I was at Dublin Castle and Trinity, I noticed pig statues all around the place. For all of my Cincinnati readers, you will know why I thought this was so funny. But for everyone else, in Cincinnati there are statues of flying pigs all over the city (the Cincinnati marathon is even called ‘The Flying Pig’) so I saw a little connection between my home town in Dublin. Another realization I came to when I was in Dublin was how happy I am that I am studying in Cork. Visiting Dublin was extremely exciting and it reminded me a bit of Chicago– both major cities, but because of that it made me recognize how safe Cork is. Cork is much smaller and more centralized, and while I have never walked home by myself in Cork, I would feel completely safe doing so. That means for people who say that Dublin is so much better than Cork, have you even been to Cork? Both cities are very different, but I am happy with my choice.


Finally, Marypaz and I are already planning a trip back to Dublin. I didn’t realize how much there was to see in Dublin until I was there and leaving. We hope to go back again in April and have a political tour of Dublin. We want to try to tour the Dáil, go to Arbor Hill cemetery, Croke park, and any other place we can squeeze in. Hopefully this happens because the more and more I learn about Irish politics, the more I want to visit all of these historical places. I also have to mail my postcard from the GPO which I was unable to do this past weekend (and yes the postcard is written to me, so it can wait to be mailed, I’m not going to be home anytime soon).

That’s all for now! This coming weekend– Kerry (aka I better get to hold a lamb)

p.s. look at this super cool picture of me touching the bullet holes on the GPO (great post office) where shots were fired at the 1916 Easter Rising. I was probably way too excited than I should have been.


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